If you ever get a tingling sensation or an electric jolt down an arm or a leg, you might have radiculopathy — also called spinal nerve entrapment. At his practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Alexander Kulick, MD, diagnoses nerve entrapment and offers customized treatments to alleviate your pain and other symptoms. Call the New York City office today or make an appointment online.

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What is radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy is the clinical term for a pinched or entrapped nerve in your spine. You can develop radiculopathy in your neck, upper back, or lower back. Sciatica, for example, is an example of the symptoms that occur when your sciatic nerve is compressed. 

Radiculopathy can follow a traumatic injury, or it could be the result of wear-and-tear. You could develop radiculopathy from whiplash, or arthritis could lead to bone spur growth, which can compress a nerve. Spinal stenosis, compression fractures, and scoliosis can also cause nerve entrapment.

Your risk of radiculopathy increases with age. If you’re overweight, have poor posture, or lead a sedentary lifestyle, you also have a higher chance of developing radiculopathy.

What are the symptoms of radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy causes a variety of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, including:

  • Spinal pain
  • Pain that radiates to your arms or legs
  • Tingling in your hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Weakness
  • Numbness 
  • Reduced ability to pick up or grasp small objects
  • Reduced balance and coordination
  • Incontinence

Your symptoms depend on the location of the nerve entrapment. For example, sciatica is due to compression of the sciatic nerve in your lower spine and causes symptoms in your low back, buttocks, and legs. 

How is radiculopathy diagnosed?

Dr. Kulick provides thorough exams and diagnostic testing to identify nerve entrapment. He begins by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. 

During your physical exam, he checks your reflexes and for other signs of neurological problems like numbness in your feet and hands. 

Dr. Kulick also orders tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, as well as electromyography, to assess your nerve function and locate the compressed nerve. 

How is radiculopathy treated?

Dr. Kulick provides customized treatment plans to address your specific needs. Your treatment plan may include a combination of therapies such as:

  • Immobilization
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Ultrasound-guided epidural and facet joint injections
  • Nerve blocks

Dr. Kulick also offers hydrodissection. During this procedure, he injects a saline solution into the area around your entrapped nerve. The pressure from the solution releases the nerve from the surrounding tissue, which restores normal nerve function and eliminates your symptoms. 

If you have symptoms of radiculopathy, call the office of Dr. Alexander Kulick or make an appointment online today.